Auburn's men basketball team entered Tuesday evening with a chance to sweep the season series against the Georgia Bulldogs. Despite a big night from Jaylin Williams, the Tigers came up short in Auburn Arena falling to the Dawgs by a score of 91-86. Georgia (11-6) led from start to finish against the Tigers. The Bulldogs led by as many as 15 midway through the second half, but Auburn (10-9) was able to pull within single digits in the late stanzas but couldn't quite complete the comeback against its rival.
Georgia, specifically Tye Fagan, started fast. Fagan scored the first seven points for the Bulldogs in less than two minutes. Georgia built their lead to as much as ten, at 25-15, before the Tigers went on a 10-2 run to get within two with five and a half minutes before the intermission. However, Georgia answered Auburn's surge with one of their own to close the half and go up nine at the intermission. Within the first five minutes of the second half, Auburn got within three of the Bulldogs on two different occasions. Georgia used a 14-2 run to build the aforementioned 15 point lead. The Tigers refused to go away quietly and chipped into the Georgia lead throughout the final ten minutes. However, the closest Auburn was able to get was five after Allen Flanigan's dunk with five seconds to play.
A huge difference in the game was the offensive glass as Georgia grabbed 13 offensive rebounds compared to Auburn's seven. In total, the Bulldogs outrebounded the Tigers by a 40 to 32 margin. Thanks to the Dawgs dominance of the offensive glass they were able to get off seven more shots than the Tigers. In a game in which the shooting percentages were almost identical (Auburn - 48.3, Georgia 49.3), these seven extra shots proved crucial in a five point game. Bruce Pearl also pointed to the points in the paint advantage for the Bulldogs as a key in the game. The Dawgs outscored Auburn 52-34 in the paint.
Individually, Jaylin Williams led the Tigers with 21 points. He was one of five to finish in double figures, along with Sharife Cooper (19), Jamal Johnson (13), Allen Flanigan (12), and Devan Cambridge (12). Johnson led the charge on the boards grabbing six rebounds, while Cooper doled out nine assists to just miss out on a double-double. Georgia had six players in double figures led by 16 from Tye Fagan. Toumani Camara recorded a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Auburn continues a two game homestand on Saturday when they host Ole Miss to Auburn Arena for a 3 p.m. tip. Ole Miss (9-8) is coming off an upset victory over Tennessee and already beat Auburn once, 72-61 on January 6.
K.D. Johnson led the way with 19 points and Jabari Smith finished with 17. Auburn is in action next Saturday at 11:30 a.m. EST/10:30 a.m. CST against Nebraska in Holiday Hoopsgiving at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
The No. 21 Auburn Tigers basketball team defeated the University of Central Florida Knights Wednesday evening inside Auburn Arena 85-68. After losing against the Knights a year ago on the road, the Tigers successfully defended their home floor. Auburn used a strong second half to pull away, outscoring the Knights by 14.